The following is the reaction to the BeltLine’s and city’s decision, related to the route of the trail through Tanyard Creek Park, by Steven Hart. He spent endless hours as a citizen representative working with the BeltLine on the Northside BeltLine Master Plan recommendation, and Lee Richardson, a landscape architect who provided input on the Tanyard Creek Trail options.

You know, it’s interesting – if you go to the Atlanta Beltline web site, you’ll see that the “Conceptual Plans” prepared by Glatting Jackson for the Northside Study Area show only the West Side option for the route through Tanyard Creek Park, with absolutely no mention of the other routes apparently “under consideration” by the Beltline.

This underscores the fact that as of at least October 1, the Sub-Area Master Plan was proceeding with the community’s preference and makes me wonder at what point the decision to evaluate the “alternatives” actually occurred and why Glatting Jackson was really excluded from the final decision making.

Again, the real issue here is that the Beltline abandoned the Sub-Area Master Plan process and started micro-managing the decisions with its own ad hoc process (internal evaluation, backed up by a Sub-Cabinet vote to give it the appearance of legitimacy) when it appeared that the results of the open process prescribed by the city council were going in a direction not of their liking.

Why are other results of the Sub-Area Master Plan (re-routing of streets around Piedmont Road, alignment of the transit corridor, etc., not to mention the Peachtree Creek Parkway) not being subjected to the same internal evaluation and Sub-Cabinet vote?

Or to put it another way, why was the only decision reconsidered the one that involved PATH?

Steven Hart

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In response to your notification to the public of the trail alignment for PATH in Tanyard Creek Park, dated January 17, 2008, I would like to offer the following:

Public input was attained only as it is required. There was no interest on anyone’s part to honestly listen or consider input. There is mounting evidence from so many neighborhoods realizing that public input is not being given valid consideration. The public is smart, and they expect compromises – they just don’t expect to be ignored.

It is painfully obvious that Atlanta Beltline is headed down a path of expediency, with no one serving on the Board with any real vision.

The Public reached a consensus for the western trail routing based on creative solutions and thoughtful responses to land, trees, stream bank repair and public use. The use of these documents by you, ABI and PATH to analyze the merits of a western route, then point by point attempt to prove why these offered solutions will not work is at the very least dishonest. What is worse is that ABI and PATH offered nothing other than dissent, while offering no creative solutions on their own, except, “this is what we want to do.”

Lee Richardson

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